What is Considered a Dental Emergency
When your mouth hurts, it can seem like time slows down. We use our mouths for eating, drinking, speaking – even breathing. The causes of toothaches are varied, but in some cases they’re indicative of a true dental emergency. It may be difficult to determine whether or not you need emergency care, so know that mouth pain is often the first of the symptoms of tooth infection to manifest. Here are a just a few dental emergencies that might need immediate attention:
Cavities: One of the most common causes of toothaches is the cavity, which is a hole in the outer layers of the tooth. Cavities are easy to fix when they’re small, but if you ignore them they can cause swelling, pain and infection. Untreated, they can lead to more permanent damage.
Abscess: An abscess is an infection in your tooth. Abscessed tooth treatment from a dentist should be sought immediately, as the infection may spread from your mouth to other parts of your body; leading to more serious complications. Pulling the tooth or performing a root canal procedure are common abscessed tooth treatments. You can ease the pain by rinsing with a mild salt water solution, which will help keep the area clean before your dental appointment.
Soft Tissue Injury: The soft tissue in your mouth includes your cheeks, your gums and your tongue. Damage to these areas may indicate symptoms of tooth infection, but may also imply other types of injuries or infections to your teeth. Often, these injuries are caused by chronic food impactions, rough teeth, uneven dentures or broken braces. A mild salt water solution will help keep the area clean if you can’t see a dentist right away.
Toothaches: The most obvious symptoms of tooth infection start with toothaches. The causes of toothaches are varied, but the pain is the most common indicator of a problem. Ice packs can reduce the swelling associated with the problem and rinsing with a mild salt water solution can help keep the area clear from debris. The causes of a toothache may also indicate root sensitivities, so it’s important to see a dentist if the pain doesn’t go away quickly.
Cracked Teeth: The most obvious causes of toothaches are cracked and chipped teeth. A cracked tooth might not be noticeable, but a dental health professional can help you determine if there is damage. Cracked teeth can lead to soft tissue injury, which means an abscessed tooth treatment may be needed. If the tooth is knocked out of your mouth completely, place it in a cup of milk and proceed directly to the dentist. Teeth that have been reset within one hour have the best chance of taking root again.
Broken Braces: The symptoms of a toothache may begin with a dislodged wire or missing band. Broken braces can cause soft tissue damage, leading to sores or cuts on the inside of the cheeks. They can also lead to infection in the teeth or on the tongue. Patients who wear braces should immediately see a dentist if they notice new discomfort or experience pain in their mouths around their teeth.